Lee Lane - FDT Chairman  Rockwell Automation
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August Editorial:

I am pleased to report that our Mobility prototyping team of more than 15 industry experts is making great progress on our FITS™ (FDT IIoT Server™) architecture. They have been focused for the last few months on refining the selections of the underpinning technologies by exercising the two most common use cases for FITS – a web browser client and an app connecting to FITS via secure web sockets. All of this work is being built on top of our developers’ tool kits, called Common Components, to allow a smooth migration to a released and supported specification. While there is much more work ahead of us, I am very grateful to this team for their expertise and dedication to the project.

Another pillar of our FITS architecture is the inclusion of a rich set of capabilities through OPC UA connectivity. Our OPC UA team is also working on a nice set of enhancements to our OPC UA annex to the FDT specification. This work will debut at the SPS show in Nuremburg in November. Watch for booth staffers holding tablets that are wirelessly exercising FITS with an OPC UA client. Whether you are already an expert on OPC UA or just starting to appreciate its capabilities, I think you will enjoy the demo.

With the rapid progression of the FITS architecture, we wish to ensure that our membership can prepare their internal company technology roadmaps to align with FITS. We will hold a membership-only introduction to the FITS architecture and technology stack on 6 September 2017 in Mannheim, `Germany. Members will receive an email with the details shortly. We will review the technology roadmaps, the advantages of FITS, and the architecture of FITS. This is an excellent opportunity for developers, product managers, and product architects to get their first detailed look at FITS from the people engaged in the project. If you can’t attend in person, a WebEx session will also be offered.

The Board of Directors recently appointed new officers for the FDT Group as part of a transition plan for retiring officers. Shannon Foos of Rockwell Automation has been named the new Chairperson of Standards and Associations, replacing Klaus-Peter Lindner from Endress+Hauser. Klaus-Peter has successfully led the FDT Group, winning global standardization recognition in all major markets. I am very grateful to Klaus-Peter for his dedication and success over his many years with the FDT Group and I wish him well in his retirement.  Henk van der Bent of Yokogawa has been named as Treasurer for the FDT Group upon the retirement of Manfred Brill from Schneider Electric later this year. I’d like to thank Manfred for helping with the transition to Henk. Manfred’s service and contributions to FDT have made a huge impact to the success of the organization and the technology. We have been very fortunate to have his support over the years.

The Executive Committee has appointed Dr. Thomas Hadlich of Rockwell Automation as Chairperson of the Architecture and Specification Working Group. Suriya Selvaraj of Yokogawa has lead this group in recent years but has found it necessary to step down from this role due to other commitments. While Suriya will remain an active member of the working group, I would like to take this opportunity thank him for his outstanding technical leadership in this critical role for the FDT Group.

Lee Lane – Chairman of the Board, FDT Group